What Is African Art? by Peter Probst
A history of the evolving field of African art. Peter Probst offers the first book to explore the invention and development of African art as an art historical category. He starts his exploration with a simple question: What do we actually talk about when we talk about African art? By confronting the historically shifting answers to this question, Probst identifies the notion of African art as a conceptual vessel whose changing content manifests wider societal transformations. The perspective is a pragmatic and relational one. Rather than providing an affirmative answer to what African art is and what local meanings it has, Probst shows how the works labeled as "African art" figure in the historical processes and social interactions that constitute the Africanist art world. What Is African Art? covers three key stages in the field's history. Starting with the late-nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century, Probst focuses on the role of museums, collectors, and photography in disseminating visual culture and considers how early anthropologists, artists, and art historians imbued objects with values that reflected ideas of the time. He then explores the remaking of the field at the dawn of African independence with the shift towards contemporary art and the rise of Black Atlantic studies in the 1970s and 1980s. Finally, he examines the postcolonial reconfiguration of the field driven by questions of heritage, reparation, and representation. Probst looks to the future, arguing that, if the study of African art is to move in productive new directions, we must look to how the field is evolving within Africa.
Call Number: N 7380 .P76 2022 - Auburn Hills & Southfield
Publication Date: 2022-12-21